WE must thank God that despite the corruption and incompetence of the Aquino administration, most experts local and international still see our country posting high GDP growth rates in 2015.
Just before Christmas Day, a Moody’s Investors Service analysis of the Philippine economy was released. It says that domestic growth is being hamstrung by the Aquino administration’s weak use of its budget. This veritably endorses our critical viewpoint that the Aquino administration is both incompetent and corrupt. Incompetence prevented officials from making use of the huge funds they have to keep projects running and jobless people employed. It is also corruption because the high officials who should have pushed for faster and more government spending, officials including President Aquino himself, precisely withheld the use of taxpayers’ money in 2014 so that they could use it to bankroll the 2016 election campaign in favor of the presidential, senatorial and congressional candidates of the ruling Aquino-Mar Roxas-Liberal Party.
But Moody’s still says the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) growth will be high–by 6.5 percent in 2015. This is high compared to those of the other Asean countries.
Moody’s says the government’s real GDP growth target of 7 percent to 8 percent for 2015 will be difficult to achieve if budget releases and use are not improved.
Other economists, like the Barcelona-based FocusEconomics panelists, see growth but slightly lower—6.2%—in 2015
Compared to us, our “twin economy” fellow Asean co-founder, Thailand, is forecast to suffer a decline.
Here is the forecast for Thailand written earlier in December by the US Council on Foreign Relations’ Joshua Kurlantzick, the CFR senior fellow for Southeast Asia, who writes most of the Asia Unbound articles.
“Thailand’s 2015 growth rate will fall below 4 percent
“The World Bank currently predicts that Thailand will grow by 4.5 percent in 2015, year-on-year. Even this rate of growth would be among the slowest in Southeast Asia—the Bank predicts the Philippines will grow by nearly 7 percent, Indonesia will grow by 5.6 percent, and Vietnam will grow by 5.5 percent. But I am doubtful that Thailand will even reach 4 percent growth for 2015. Continuing political uncertainty will weigh heavily on Thai consumers, seriously depressing domestic consumer spending. In addition, political uncertainty—and the high-profile international coverage of several recent murders of foreign tourists in Thailand—will hurt tourism badly. Tourism revenues account for between six and seven percent of Thailand’s total annual GDP.
Finally, Japanese companies, the most important investors in Thailand, will continue to slowly move some of their investments to Vietnam and other countries in the region, worried about Thailand’s political instability and the long-term competitiveness of Thai labor.”
We hope Thailand emerges in much better shape soon and the military regime there decides to restore democracy.
And we pray that President Aquino soon realizes that he and his key associates have committed many crimes against our nation, our Republic and our people—and that he should gracefully resign.